Smoked tempeh holds its own in this rich, spicy New Orleans favourite, and nicely complements the milder red beans. Browned flour takes the place of the usual dark roux, lowering the fat content of the dish with little loss of flavour.
1/2 cup (125 mL) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dark sesame oil, divided
8 oz (230 g) fresh or frozen baby okra, ends trimmed and chopped into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick rounds
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large bell pepper (any colour), seeded and chopped
10 green onions, chopped
4 cups (1 L) cold low-sodium vegan “chicken-style” broth (see recipe here)
14 oz (420 mL) can low-sodium diced tomatoes and juice
8 oz (230 g) smoked tempeh, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes
2 cups (500 mL) cooked small red beans or kidney beans, or 1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can, drained and rinsed
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1 tsp (5 mL) liquid smoke
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make browned flour, heat dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir constantly until it is as dark as coffee, being careful not to burn it. Don’t leave it alone for a minute! Take it off the heat as soon as it is the right colour and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil in large heavy pot over medium heat and sauté okra for about 5 minutes. Remove okra and set aside.
In same pot add remaining sesame oil and olive oil in large heavy pot. Add onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and green onions. Sauté until onion softens. Stir in browned flour, then broth, tomatoes, okra, tempeh, red beans, bay leaf, thyme, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
Taste gumbo for salt, and add pepper liberally. Spoon gumbo over rice, if desired.
Each serving contains: 260 calories; 14 g protein; 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 27 g carbohydrates; 8.5 g fibre; 135 mg sodium
Did you know?
Okra is a vegetable commonly used in southern US and Creole cooking and in African, Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, Indian, Caribbean, and South American cuisines. Okra, like eggplant, oatmeal, barley, and psyllium, contains viscous fibre, which traps dietary cholesterol and fat in the digestive tract and speeds their removal from the body.
source: "Tempeh for Dinner", alive #358, August 2012
Make no mistake, meaty grilled tofu, sweet flame-licked salsa, and chunks of crispy sweet potato make for a meal prepared in the great outdoors that puts the yum in plant-based eating. A master’s touch Perfect spuds: Crispy potatoes on the grill are a revelation. But it’s best to give them a head start on the stovetop, so the potatoes heat through before the exteriors grill to a burnt crisp. Flavourful tofu: Giving tofu a 90-degree turn on the grill halfway through cooking each side will produce a nice crosshatch pattern that makes you look like a grill master. Plus, those overlapping grill marks give tofu even better flavour.
Combine pizza and taco night by firing up the grill. Sweet flame-licked onions, melty cheese, fiery salsa, hearty beans, and crispy flatbread crust all marry well in a no-fuss pizza that comes together fast enough to work within the confines of the weekday time crunch. Set up a work area near the grill so you have all your toppings within easy reach and ready to go. You can also use large Middle Eastern-style pitas for your base. Using store-bought pizza dough? If you want to go more traditional and use pizza dough, you can certainly stick with the grill. Stretch or roll pizza dough (about 1 lb/450 g) to roughly 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick. It need not be perfectly round or square; it just has to be even thickness. Preheat grill to medium using indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one burner off; for a charcoal grill, shovel coals onto one side of the grill) and lightly oil grill grates. Brush one side of dough with oil, then place on grill in an area not directly over the heat, oil side down. Once dough is lightly charred and just barely set, about 1 to 2 minutes, use pizza peel or big, flat spatula to transfer it to a work surface, grilled side up. Apply toppings and return pizza to indirect heat. Close grill lid, and heat until edges of crust are crispy and cheese has melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
If a falafel and burger had a love child, this would be it. The result of this hybrid is a vibrantly coloured, complex-flavoured veggie burger you’ll flip over. You can also serve them between toasted hamburger buns with toppings such as sliced cucumber, sliced tomato, and arugula. Holding it together Many plant-based burgers are crumbly and weak, risking a patty that ends up between the grill grates instead of intact on your plate. Keep your burgers together by forming patties no larger than 1 in (2.5 cm) thick, which ensures a nice, even crust on the outside and a thoroughly warmed-through centre, then chilling the patties before grilling. You can also consider using a burger mould, which gives you denser, equally sized patties that cook evenly. Be sure your grill grates are well greased. Deep freeze You can freeze uncooked falafel burgers on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and then transfer frozen patties to an airtight container. When ready, just thaw and cook as instructed. Falafel cooking options To bake: Arrange falafel on parchment-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with oil; bake at 375 F (190 C) for 25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and heated through. To pan fry: Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (15 mL) for each 2 burgers in the pan, swirl to coat pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until underside is browned. Then flip carefully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Bet you’ve never considered making breakfast or Sunday brunch on the grill. Consider cooking your egg-soaked bread over flames as a way to coax even more flavour out of brag-worthy French toast. You can also use slices of brioche bread and whatever fruit happens to be in season. Of course, nobody could fault you for topping it all off with a drizzle of maple syrup. If you want it dairy free, you can use dairy alternatives such as oat milk and coconut yogurt. Not so fresh Somewhat stale bread is key to great French toast. You want it to be 2 to 3 days old. What if your bread isn’t aged enough? You can speed up the process by slicing bread and then placing it on a pan in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 10 minutes, or until it firms up. Make sure it’s sliced nice and thick to prevent the egg mixture-to-bread ratio being too heavy in favour of egg, resulting in soggy French toast.